Obit: Robert E. Knutson, 90, of West Bend

Dec. 7, 2017 – West Bend, WI – Robert E. Knutson, 90, of West Bend, was called home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in the town of Polk.

Bob was born in Kenosha on September 18, 1927 to the late Ingve and Cora (nee Wade) Knutson.  He attended local schools and graduated from Bradford High School in 1944.

Following his graduation, Bob joined the United States Merchant Marine and attended Radio School in Sheepshead Bay New York.

He sailed all over the world until January of 1949 and enjoyed many experiences including being in Time Square for VJ Day celebrations.  Bob was united in marriage to Kathleen Nelson on June 10, 1950 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Kenosha.

Shortly after their marriage Bob spent two years from 1952 until 1954 on active duty in Sheboygan teaching radio to operators in the Naval Reserve.  In March of 1949, Bob began a lifelong career working for Wisconsin Electric.  He transferred from Kenosha to West Bend in November of 1964 and eventually retired in May of 1988.

Bob was a member of the Loyal Order of Moose, the West Bend Masonic Lodge #138, and Trinity Lutheran Church in West Bend.  Bob and Kathy did lots of traveling visiting all 50 states.  On the 50th anniversary of his last trip for the Merchant Marine, Bob and Kathy took a cruise down the Panama Canal.  There, Bob recalled how the radio room in ships had vastly changed being completely computerized.  They even had a tour of Hitler’s private yacht from which he directed the wolf packs.  Bob and Kathy also visited the ruins of Pompey, the middle east, China, the Philippines, much of Northern Europe, the Suez Canal, and South America.

Those Bob leaves behind to cherish his memory include his two sons, Kurt Knutson and Eric (Julie) Knutson both of West Bend; two grandsons, Ryan Knutson of Menomonee Falls and Tyler Knutson of Tempe, AZ; his brother-in-law, William (Marilyn) Nelson of Kenosha; his sister-in-law, Patricia Nelson of Kenosha; 13 nieces and nephews; and many other relatives and friends.

In addition to his parents, Bob was preceded in death by his wife, Kathleen; his sister, Betty (Les) Spitzer; his brother, Larry (Patricia) Knutson; and his brother-in-law, Richard Nelson.

A memorial service in loving memory of Bob will be held on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at 6 pm at Trinity Lutheran Church (140 N. 7th Ave. West Bend).  Visitation will be at the church on Tuesday from 4:00 pm until the time of service.

Memorial to Family Promise of Washington County (724 Elm St. #102 West Bend, WI 53095) would be greatly appreciated by the family.  Family Promise helps homeless and low-income families in Washington County achieve sustainable independence.


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